Mar 10

Sanctuary Cities

Something that has been in the news off and on for the past couple of years is what is known as sanctuary cities. What is a sanctuary city? Where did this idea come from? The answer to the question, where did they come from, might actually surprise you. Numbers 35:15 says, “These six cities shall be for refuge for the children of Israel, for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them, that anyone who kills a person accidentally may flee there.” The idea of a sanctuary city originates in the Bible! Surprised? Now, a word of caution here, how the idea of a sanctuary city is being used around our country is not how the Bible lays out the use for a sanctuary city.

The biblical use of a sanctuary city was for a person who accidentally killed someone else. If you accidentally killed someone, you could flee to one of these six cities before their family avenged the murder. You would be put on trial in the sanctuary city you fled to, and it would be decided whether or not what you did was murder or what our law considers manslaughter. The difference between the two is very simple, what was the intent of the person who took the life of another? If you were found to be innocent from malice or lacked intent to murder, you were allowed to live in the sanctuary city. That doesn’t mean that you got off without any consequences. You had to remain in that city as long as the high priest who was alive at the time was still alive. If you stepped foot out of the city, and the avenger for the family of the one you killed saw you, they could avenge the person’s death. So you lost a decent amount of freedom, and can you imagine the whispers you would see as you walked down the streets of the sanctuary city? Not to mention, you had to uproot your life and start all over in a new city. This was another way that God built into Israel’s law the expectation of extending grace and mercy to someone. As you can see, this has nothing to do with coming in illegally to a country, and that city protecting the lawbreaker from answering for their crimes. Everyone accused of a crime, deserves their day in court, and until that day and even after, they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect because they are a co-bearer of the image of God, just as we are.

I believe something that we need to get back to practicing is giving grace and mercy to others. Instead of of getting upset about everything, we should seek to learn the intent behind what was said or what was done. Maybe, just maybe, the person didn’t intend for it to come out the way it did or what happened to happen. It doesn’t take away the hurt, and it doesn’t take away consequences for their actions. Rather, it is a reminder to us and to them, that we are all sinful, and we all need to experience grace and mercy. After all, if it wasn’t for the grace and mercy of God, where would we be? I’ll tell you, we would still be separated from God by our sin except we would be hopeless and helpless, and on our way to eternal condemnation; that’s where we would be if it wasn’t for the mercy and grace of God. So the next time someone says something that hurts you, or does something that harms you; stop, take a breath, and have a conversation with them. Find out the intent behind the words or the actions. You just might discover, this is a great opportunity to extend grace and mercy to them as God did to you.

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Justin

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Mar 09

Passing The Torch

Have you ever sat down and thought about the fact that one day you won’t be here anymore? As a believer, I am looking forward to the day that I graduate this life. But I am also a little nervous, because I often wonder if I have done the job I was tasked with as a father and as a pastor. Part of leading well is leading with the person who is going to take your place in mind. We are all one moment from no longer being here. In today’s text, we see God preparing Moses and the nation of Israel for what is to come next. Numbers 27:22-23 says, “So Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation. And he laid his hands on him and inaugurated him, just as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.”

In today’s Bible reading, we read both Numbers chapter 20, and then the last half of Numbers 27. Both of these chapters are about passing the torch. Moses and Aaron are getting ready to die, and there are going to be new people rising to take their place. Joshua is going to be called to lead the nation of Israel, and Eleazar is going to be the new priest in Aaron’s place. Israel was about to undergo some major changes, yet the most important aspect of their life wasn’t ever going to change. This is the joy and hope of parents and churches, as long as we raise our children and lead the church to know and follow the Lord, He will always be with them. While the physical leaders of the nation were about to change, their ultimate leader, the Lord, will never change. This is why it is so vital as parents and/or church leaders, that we teach those under our care to lean on and look to Jesus. A lot of times, as a parent, we want to raise strong, independent children. In reality, what we need to raise are children who are wholly dependent upon the Lord, and not us.

Instead of raising independent children, we need to raise children who are wholly dependent upon the Lord Click To Tweet

This text is a reminder that one day we will no longer be here. The Lord is going to appoint someone to take our place, because as Pastor Matt Chandler says, “The man goes into the ground, but the mission goes on.” It is important that we are parents teach and train our children to know how to depend upon the Lord. It’s important as church leaders that we pray about who will be raised up to take our place, and to train them while we can. Don’t wait until you are at the end of your life to care about those who will come after you. Invest in them now, teach them now for the moment that you will no longer be here. That’s a great retirement investment strategy!

Invest in them now, teach them now for the moment that you will no longer be here. That's a great retirement investment strategy! Click To Tweet

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Justin

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Mar 06

The Lord Will Fight For You

One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given by a pastor who had been in ministry far longer than I have was this, don’t attend every fight you are invited to. Whether we want to admit this or not, a lot of times we feel like we have to defend ourselves when we feel that we have unjustly been attacked. When we are right, how do we handle the accusations and the attacks? Here is what God says in Numbers 17:5, “And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom; thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel, which they make against you.”

Don't attend every fight you are invited to. Click To Tweet

This is God talking to Moses after a rebellion had occurred just one chapter earlier. God was going to show once and for all, who He had chosen to represent Him to the people, and who had the responsibility of representing the people before God. Twelve rods, that is one from each tribe of Israel, was laid in the tabernacle. Each rod had the name of a tribe of Israel on it. The next morning, it was Aaron’s rod that had bloomed. This was God saying, Aaron and his descendants are the ones I have chosen. Let’s not miss the bigger picture here. Remember, the question is, how am I to handle false accusations and unjust attacks? Notice in our verse, God said that He was going to take care of it. When we do the right thing for the right reason, we can know that the Lord will fight for us. This doesn’t mean, however, that things will always turn out the way that you want them to. It simply means that we will be honoring God by doing the right thing regardless of the cost. In fact, that is what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. It means loving Him above anything and anyone else. It means desiring to see Him glorified and His will be done no matter what.

So, don’t attend every fight you are invited to. Instead, fight the fight on your knees in prayer.

If you have to fight the battle, fight it on your knees in prayer. Click To Tweet

Ask the Lord, what is right according to You? What are you asking me to do in this situation? And then ask for His help to do it, and the grace to trust Him even if it doesn’t turn out the way you think it should. The good news is, the Lord will fight for us when we are doing the right thing, the right way, for the right reason. No matter what, we have the promise from God that He will be there with us, and He will walk with us through it. Praise the Lord for being ever present with us in our time of need!

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Justin

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Mar 05

As Promised

Have you ever struggled to believe something that someone told you, even though they had never lied to you or lead you down the wrong road? This is the story of Israel at this point in their journey to the Promised Land. God had promised to give them the land, but they were at a crossroads. Would they believe God or believe what they saw? Today’s text comes from Numbers 14:8-9, “If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of this land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”

Moses had sent 12 spies into the Promised Land to spy out the land. After 40 days, they return to give their reports. 10 of the spies give a bad report. Only two of them give a favorable report. The verses here in Numbers 14 is Caleb’s report. Caleb never denies that the people in the land are strong and they have fortified cities. He gives a favorable report because the Lord had promised to give Israel this land. Caleb knew that the Lord was with them, and therefore the Lord would fight for them and victory would be Israel’s. Therefore, Caleb and Joshua told the people that it was time to go and claim what God had promised them. Sadly, the people chose to believe the majority report. This sin lead to disastrous consequences for Israel. God said they would wander in the desert for one year per day the spies had been in the land. Therefore, since they were in the land spying it out for 40 days, Israel was going to wander the wilderness for 40 years. Of those who were 20 years and older, God said that they would die in the wilderness. Because of their faith in God, Joshua and Caleb are the only two of their generation who would enter into the Promised Land 40 years later.

When we can't understand the plan of God, we must choose to trust the person and character of God. Click To Tweet

The main takeaway from this story is that we must learn to trust the word of God no matter what. It may be easier to trust what we can see or what we think, but all that matters is what the Lord has said. This is why four times in Scripture we read the phrase, “we walk by faith, not by sight.” When we can’t understand the plan of God, we must choose to trust the person and character of God. It’s vital that we not only have a right view of ourselves, it’s more vital that we have a right view of God. God never asked Israel to wage this war, He never told them that they were going to have to go in and fight on their own. God was simply calling them to trust Him more than they trust themselves.

if God has promised it, He will provide it in His time and in His way. Click To Tweet

What is God calling you to trust Him for today? You can know that if God has promised it, He will provide it in His time and in His way.

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Justin

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Mar 04

Is God Weak?

Have you ever found yourself in what felt like or looked like an impossible situation?  As a Christian, we profess to believe that God is all-powerful, that He can change anyone and anything at any moment because He is God.  Yet, does our life sometimes reflect something different than what we profess?  It doesn’t make it right, but we are not alone.  We are going to see this in Moses’ life in our post for Blogging Through The Bible In 2020.  Numbers 11:23 says, “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Has the Lord’s arm been shortened?  Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.”

Do we sometimes forget that God is the same yesterday as He has always been? Click To Tweet

The people are once again complaining against God and Moses in Numbers 11.  God had been supernaturally supplying them with manna since they left Egypt.  There was never a day that they lacked what they needed.  Yet, we see them unhappy with God’s provisions.  They wanted meat.  In their sinfulness, they actually tried to say that they were better off living in Egypt where they were slaves.  Their reasoning for saying they were better off in Egypt?  They ate better. God comes to Moses and tells him, I hear the complaints of the people.  Tomorrow, I’m going to provide them with so much meat, they won’t know what to do with it is.  I’m going to give them so much, it’s going to be coming out of their noses.  This is where we see Moses waiver in his faith. Moses looks around and says, “Lord, you do know that there are 600,000 men right?  How are you going to give us that much meat?”  In typical God fashion, God answers Moses’ question with a question.  The question is this, “Has the Lord’s arm been shortened?”  In other words, God is asking, have I somehow lost some power and ability to provide for you and the Israelites?  Am I not the same God who spared Israel from the death plague that swept through Egypt?  Am I not the same God who miraculously parted the Red Sea so that you and the nation of Israel could cross over on dry ground?  Am I not the same God that provided manna for you all to eat, and gave you water to drink out of a rock?  Am I not that same God?  God was rebuking Moses for his lack of faith in God’s power to provide for His people.  In a very real sense, Moses was calling into question God’s love for Israel.  There is a story in the New Testament, during Jesus’ ministry where something similar happens.  Jesus has been teaching, and the people have been following Jesus.  Jesus stops, and He asks the question, where are we going to get enough food for all these people to eat?  It was 5,000 men in this story, so when you add the women and children in, it could have easily been a crowd of 10,000+ people. The disciples, like Moses, doubted. Within the crowd, a boy who had five loaves of bread and two fish was discovered and brought to Jesus.  Jesus told the disciples to have the crowd sit down. Jesus not only fed this crowd, but there were leftovers.  The point of both stories is the same, God is all-powerful, and He is able to do what He pleases.  I wonder if we are like Moses or the disciples from time to time?  Do we sometimes forget that God is the same yesterday as He has always been?

Not one time in the Bible do we see God tell us to figure it all out. Click To Tweet

Is there a situation in your life right now that looks bleak?  Are you tempted to lose hope?  If so, remember this, God is the same today as He has always been.  He has not lost His power or ability to change anyone or anything.  He has not stopped loving you.  He has not abandoned you to figure it all out.  Just because you and I can’t figure something out, doesn’t mean that God doesn’t already know what He is going to do.  Not one time in the Bible do we see God tell us to figure it all out.  Rather, 365 times in the Bible God tells us not to worry or be afraid.  Our responsibility is to pray in faith, trusting that God saw all of this coming long before we did, and He knows exactly how He is going to work it out for His glory and for our good.  

Our responsibility is to pray in faith, trusting that God saw all of this coming long before we did, and He knows exactly how He is going to work it out for His glory and for our good.   Click To Tweet

Therefore, whatever is weighing on your heart and mind today, lay it down.  You were never meant to carry the burdens of the world or of your life.  You were created by God and for God to worship Him, love Him, and serve Him.  Pray about it in faith, remembering who God is, and then watch for God’s answer.

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Justin

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Mar 03

Boundaries

How many of us liked our parents’ rules growing up? I will admit, I had a love hate relationship with them. I’m a law and order kind of person, so I liked them; however, there were times that I thought they were just trying to restrict my fun. How many people have a similar attitude towards the Bible? My guess is, that is pretty high number. But what if God’s Law and prohibitions were about something greater, not about restricting our fun? This is what we will see in our post for today in Blogging Through The Bible in 2020. Leviticus 26:46 says, “These are the statutes and judgments and laws which the Lord made between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai; by the hand of Moses.”

God has laid out His expectations for Israel in this chapter. You can essentially break Leviticus 26 down into two sections. The first section is God giving promises to Israel as they obeyed Him. The second section was God promising the consequences for disobedience. While many people see the Bible as restricting man’s freedom, it is actually the exact opposite. By God giving us boundaries for living in a right relationship with Him, He is doing the most loving thing possible. In God giving us His expectations of His children, God is revealing His grace, mercy, patience, and even His willingness to forgive as we confess and turn from our sin. Just as our parents were showing their love and care for us when they set boundaries for us, God is doing the same for His children. Because God has given us His word that contains His Law, He is revealing His love for us and defining the freedom that we have in Him.

God recording His laws for us is a demonstration of His love for His children by communicating His expectations for us. Click To Tweet

One way that I tend to think about it and envision it is in terms of a football game, specifically for an offense. The rules of football are universal, they are the same for everyone. The field dimensions are the same. The objective for both offense and defense is the same. The rulebook says that an offense has four tries to move the ball at least 10 yards in order to keep the ball. It doesn’t say that they must run the ball a certain amount of times, nor does it say that they must pass the ball a certain number of times. This gives an offense tremendous freedom to accomplish its objective. The football rule book doesn’t define everything you must do, rather it defines the minimum of what you must do. The Bible is the same. God in His grace has given us boundaries. Boundaries such as don’t lie, cheat, steal, murder, commit adultery, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. While it does give examples of how you can carry these things out, it doesn’t say that those are the only ways you can carry the commands out. This is because God and His word never changes, even though our culture does change. God’s character and expectations of His children are always the same, but how you and I biblically carry them out will change over time because of shifts in culture.

The Bible is a grand revelation of the person and work of God Click To Tweet

Therefore, let’s look at God’s word for what it truly is, a grand revelation of the person and work of God, and His desires for each of those He has created in His own image. The most loving thing God could do for His children is to express and preserve what it means to live in a right relationship with Him. The Bible is one way that God seeks to protect us from our own worst enemy–ourselves. Therefore, let’s be intentional about reading it, meditating on what we have read throughout the day, and memorizing it, because the Bible can keep us from sin (Psa. 119:11), and it can give us wisdom to guide us in the way we should live to glorify God (Psa. 119:105). Let’s thank God for His expressions of love of sending Jesus to die in our place, and giving us His word so that we would know who He is, and how we can live for His glory!

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Justin

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Mar 02

Remember Me

Have you ever struggled reading through the Old Testament? I will grant you that there are some interesting passages in the Old Testament, some things that make you want to scratch your head. However, what is the most important aspect to remember is this; all of Scripture is about God and His plan of redeeming lost sinners to Himself. This is what our text today in Blogging Through The Bible In 2020 reminds us of. Leviticus 23:1-2 says, “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: the feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.”

If you read all of Leviticus 23, you will see that God has appointed seven specific times of worship for the nation of Israel. These are to be times of special remembrances that are tied directly to events that God has done for the nation of Israel. God indicates the specialness of these feasts by referring to them as holy convocations. He is reminding Israel and us today, that when we come to worship the Lord, it is to be a holy encounter with the living God. We are not to come haphazardly. We come with the intent of worshipping the risen Savior, hearing from Him, and then taking what He has given us through His Word and obeying it. We are to take inventory of our lives before we enter His presence. In order for our worship to be received by God, we must come in humble dependence upon Him having confessed and turned from any and all known sin. To come into His presence with unconfessed, unreported of sin in our life is to invite the judgment of God into our lives. We must never forget the command in Leviticus 11:44 and repeated in 1 Peter 1:16, “Be holy, for I am holy.” We are to pursue holiness in our lives.

These feasts were never about what Israel had done for God. They were all about what God had done for Israel. Click To Tweet

The last part of this verse is an important reminder when God says, “these are My feasts.” God is saying, these seven feasts of this chapter are to point you ultimately to Jesus. These feasts were never about what Israel had done for God. They were all about what God had done for Israel. Worship today is to be a celebration and a reminder of God’s faithfulness to us in saving us, providing for us, being with us, and one day welcoming us into His eternal presence.

Worship should be all about God, and my gratefulness for what He has done and is doing for me. Click To Tweet

When we gather to worship the Lord it should be a special time. A time in which we lay our burdens down at the altar, and worship the living God who died in our place. Worship should be all about God, and my gratefulness for what He has done and is doing for me.

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Justin

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Feb 28

Scapegoat

Have you ever heard someone refer to another person or themselves as the scapegoat when things go wrong? Have you ever wondered where that phrase came from? It is actually a biblical phrase, and ultimately a reference to Jesus. We will see this in our text today which comes from Leviticus 16. Leviticus 16:20-22 says, “And when he had made and end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and that altar, he shall bring the live goat. Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head to the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.”

The Lord is giving Moses instructions on how the high priest will deal with his sins, and the sins of Israel on the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement is in the seventh month of Israel’s religious calendar, which coincides with our September. It was the one day of the year that the high priest could go into the most holy place and offer the sacrifice to have Israel’s sins covered by God. The order of how it was to be done is very important. First, there must be a blood sacrifice of an animal made, and the blood must be applied to the altar and on the mercy seat. Then, the high priest was to lay his hands on the head of a second goat, confess over it the sins of Israel, and the goat was to be led out of the camp, into the wilderness. This was symbolic of God removing the sins of Israel from them. This second goat was the scapegoat. This goat had to bear the guilt of the people, and be lead away from Israel. This order of events is mentioned again in the New Testament in the book of Hebrews. Hebrews 9:22 says, “And according to the law, almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins.” Again, we see that there must be a bloody sacrifice offered before sins could be removed. Both the sacrificial animal and the scapegoat point us to Jesus. In Isaiah 53:5 we read, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” It is only by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross that we can have our sins forgiven. When we bow our heart and life to the resurrected King in faith, trusting in His death and resurrection as our only hope of being restored to a right relationship with God, we see what God does with our sins in Psalm 103. Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Therefore, because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, it is possible that our sins can be removed from us.

This is yet another reminder that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. It is nothing that we do, but rather it is entirely based on what Jesus has done for us. Not only is this a message for the sinner to come in faith to Jesus, but it also has a powerful message for the believer. Satan loves to remind us of our past or even our present sins. He does this to paralyze us. He knows that if he can get us to focus on our shortcomings, we will feel unworthy of God’s love, His grace, and in many cases we will start to question our salvation. The truth is, we are unworthy of God’s love and grace. But God already knew that about us before Jesus died on the cross to redeem us. From the moment God by His grace saved us, He removed our sins from us and gave us a perfect standing with Himself because of Jesus. This is why Paul wrote in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.” God has removed our sins from us on the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection. Therefore, we no longer bear the guilt of our sin, because Jesus bore that guilt on the cross in our place. So, when Satan brings us your past and present struggles, preach the Gospel to yourself that you stand no longer condemned, but fully and freely forgiven by the blood of Jesus. Confess your sin, turn from it, and ask God for His help to overcome it; but always remember, your guilt was bore on the cross and paid for by Jesus. Therefore, no longer walk condemned, discouraged, or defeated. Rather, walk in the victory that has been granted to you by Jesus!

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Justin

Posted in Through The Bible in 2020 | 2 Comments
Feb 27

Accepted by God

What does it mean to have the blessing and favor of God on your life? Does it mean that God makes you rich and healthy? How could a person know that they have been accepted by God? These are some of the questions that people have when it comes to trying to understand the teachings of the Bible, especially when they are coming out of a church that proclaims a false Gospel. Fortunately, the Bible is not silent on these questions. In today’s text in our series, Blogging Through The Bible In 2020, we are going to see proof of God’s presence and acceptance of His people. Today’s text comes from Leviticus 9:23-24 which says, “And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of meeting, and came out and blessed the people. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people, and fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.”

Moses has taken Aaron and his sons through the purification process for assuming the priestly role on behalf of Israel. The process went on for seven days. This is the eighth day, and it is the day that Aaron and his sons were to offer sin and peace offerings on behalf of the people to God. There are two proofs that God accepted Aaron and his sons and the sacrifices on behalf of the people. The first proof is that the glory of the Lord was there. The Spirit of God is not going to stay where the will of God is being disobeyed. The second proof is that the offering was consumed on the altar. This is a sign in the Old Testament that God has accepted the offering placed on the altar. But what about today? How can we know that we have been accepted by God?

We can know that God has accepted us by the same two proofs that He used here in Leviticus 9. First, we will have the Holy Spirit living inside of us. Proof that we have surrendered our heart and life to King Jesus is that He gives us His Holy Spirit to live inside of us to guide us, teach us, convict us, and strengthen us. Jesus said in John 14, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide in you forever–the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you, I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:16-18). Then in John 14:26, Jesus says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I have said to you.” Then the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:16, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Therefore, the glory of the Lord dwells in each born-again child of God.

The second proof is that God accepts our offerings to Him. Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Just as Aaron and his sons were to make sacrifices for themselves and the people, you and I are to present our lives as a sacrifice to God each day. Paul says how in Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” We are to reject the world, its teachings and goals, and instead live for Jesus. The end of Romans 12:1 that says, “which is your reasonable service” can also be translated as “which is your spiritual worship.” Therefore, every day when I choose to surrender myself to the Lord and I present my life as a sacrifice before God, it is an act of worship. As Jesus said in Luke 9, this means we are going to have to die to ourselves daily, take up our cross daily, and follow Him daily. This begins with prayer and studying the word of God to know God, and to ask Him to guide you today in His will. And this process ends with our obedience to His leading. Then, if we wake up tomorrow, we do it all over again. So let me end with a simple question, is your life worshipping God or yourself?

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Justin

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Feb 26

Lead The Way

Have you ever had a tough decision you are facing and just wish you knew what the right thing to do was? I think we all have those moments. In today’s text in Blogging Through The Bible in 2020, we are going to see the faithfulness of God to lead His children. Exodus 40:36-37 says, “Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onwards in all their journeys. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up.”

Two years have now passed since Israel had been delivered from Egypt. God has finished giving His instructions to Moses, and all the work for the tabernacle has now been completed. Israel has raised the tabernacle for the first time, and the glory of the Lord has filled it. The glory of God was God’s proof to Israel that He was with them. It is this glory of God that would lead them to the Promised Land.

While you and I may not see a literal glory cloud of God today, the children of God do have the glory of God to direct them. The glory is the Holy Spirit, who the apostle Paul says indwells each believer (1 Cor. 6:19). Not only do we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us to guide us, we also have the Word of God to give us wisdom. James 1:5 says, “If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Therefore, if you are faced with a decision and you need to know what the right decision is, the Bible tells us as Christians to ask God, and He will give us the wisdom that we need. It will be the Spirit of God using the Word of God to guide the child of God. This is one of the reasons that Paul would say in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “pray without ceasing.” Life is full of many decisions, and while we may think we know what the right one is, we can easily be deceived. What a blessing to know that God is right there, waiting and willing to give us the wisdom that we need to make the right decisions according to Him. What do you need wisdom for today? Have you taken it to the Lord in prayer yet? If not, start there and watch God move in your life and guide you just like He did the nation of Israel during the Exodus.

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Justin

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